Meme: Which fantasy writer are you?

Your result for Which fantasy writer are you?…

Philip Pullman (b.1946)

3 High-Brow, -5 Violent, 7 Experimental and 13 Cynical!

Congratulations! You are High-Brow, Peaceful, Experimental and Cynical! These concepts are defined below.

Philip Pullman was already a prominent author of children’s books when he published his most praised work to date, the trilogy known as His Dark Materials (1995-2000). In this work, set both in parallel worlds and our own, Pullman made a courageous attempt to write a book for young readers which incorporated a whole vision of the universe, as well as a discussion of ethical issues. He managed to combine this with a burst of thought-provoking and entertaining imagination, bringing to life a Europe where the church is still in control, “souls” that have been externalised as animal presences, intelligent, sentient polar bears and much more. The series have been described as a sort of “anti-Narnia”, as Pullman’s attempt to write an updated variant of the kind of books C S Lewis, whom Pullman has criticized for having racist, misogynic and preaching tendencies, wanted to write. His Dark Materials has also spawned some controversy among Christians, who see the the work as an attack against Christianity, Pullman being one of Britain’s most outspoken atheists. Other Christians have, however, claimed to have found spirituality in the books.

Either way, Pullman’s combination of renewal and expansion of the genre, his profound messages on the value of life and his refusal to under-estimate his young readers’ ability to see life as it is makes Pullman one of the most interesting and important writers of modern fantasy.

You are also a lot like Tove Jansson.

If you want something some action, try Gene Wolfe.

If you’d like a challenge, try your exact opposite, J R R Tolkien.

Your score

This is how to interpret your score: Your attitudes have been measured on four different scales, called 1) High-Brow vs. Low-Brow, 2) Violent vs. Peaceful, 3) Experimental vs. Traditional and 4) Cynical vs. Romantic. Imagine that when you were born, you were in a state of innocence, a tabula rasa who would have scored zero on each scale. Since then, a number of circumstances (including genetical, cultural and environmental factors) have pushed you towards either end of these scales. If you’re at 45 or -45 you would be almost entirely cynical, low-brow or whatever. The closer to zero you are, the less extreme your attitude. However, you should always be more of either (eg more romantic than cynical). Please note that even though High-Brow, Violent, Experimental and Cynical have positive numbers (1 through 45) and their opposites negative numbers (-1 through -45), this doesn’t mean that either quality is better. All attitudes have their positive and negative sides, as explained below.

High-Brow vs Low-Brow

You received 3 points, making you more High-Brow than Low-Brow. Being high-browed in this context refers to being more fascinated with the sort of art that critics and scholars tend to favour, rather than the best-selling kind. At their best, high-brows are cultured, able to appreciate the finer nuances of literature and not content with simplifications. At their worst they are, well, snobs.

Violent vs. Peaceful

You received -5 points, making you more Peaceful than Violent. This scale is a measurement of a) if you are tolerant to violence in fiction and b) whether you see violence as a means that can be used to achieve a good end. If you aren’t, and you don’t, then you are peaceful as defined here. At their best, peaceful people are the ones who encourage dialogue and understanding as a means of solving conflicts. At their worst, they are standing passively by as they or third parties are hurt by less scrupulous individuals.

Experimental vs. Traditional

You received 7 points, making you more Experimental than Traditional. Your position on this scale indicates if you’re more likely to seek out the new and unexpected or if you are more comfortable with the familiar, especially in regards to culture. Note that traditional as defined here does not equal conservative, in the political sense. At their best, experimental people are the ones who show humanity the way forward. At their worst, they provoke for the sake of provocation only.

Cynical vs Romantic

You received 13 points, making you more Cynical than Romantic. Your position on this scale indicates if you are more likely to be wary, suspicious and skeptical to people around you and the world at large, or if you are more likely to believe in grand schemes, happy endings and the basic goodness of humankind. It is by far the most vaguely defined scale, which is why you’ll find the sentence “you are also a lot like x” above. If you feel that your position on this scale is wrong, then you are probably more like author x. At their best, cynical people are able to see through lies and spot crucial flaws in plans and schemes. At their worst, they are overly negative, bringing everybody else down.

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25 Random things about me

I’ve been tagged by several people, so here it is.

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

1. As a kid, I once rode on the private jet of the Chicago White Sox and sat across the isle from my favorite player, Carlton Fisk. I was so nervous I didn’t say a word.

2. The first SF story I ever wrote was fan fic, involving Wesley Crusher and the Kobayashi Maru Sadly, all copies were lost in a tragic yet suspicious transporter accident.

3. I made Margaret Weis laugh at a Gencon in Milwaukee. I noticed a sign at one of the booths, advertising that she would be there that afternoon. I squeed and gestured wildly to my friends. They turned towards the booth and pointed. I looked. There she was, looking at me and grinning.

4. I had a two appendixes, a very rare condition, removed when I was ten.

5. My favorite constellation is Orion. I look for it whenever there’s a clear sky.

6. I’m proficient, or have been, in multiple computer languages. I’ve written code in Basic, QBasic, GW-Basic, C, C++, Visual Basic, Visual C++, Java, Python, Perl, Ruby, PHP, Bash, Dataflex, Pascal, x86 Assembler and Javascript. I am a nerd.

7. I used to be an avid reader, going through 2-3 books a week. I’ve slowed down considerably, reading only short stories and graphic novels in the last year.

8. When I worked as a consultant at NBC headquarters in New York City, I was taken on a tour of the Saturday Night Live set prior to the January 1st, 2000 show. I watched Blink 182 practice on stage.

9. I like Iron Maiden, Johnny Cash, Flogging Molly, Tesla, Nine Inch Nails, and Tori Amos. I’ve seen four of them in concert. Sadly, I didn’t discover Johnny Cash until after he died.

10. I love the musical Les Miserables. I’ve seen it once live, but listen to the soundtrack regularly.

11. I spent many days and nights in the children’s ward at the University of Minnesota hospital as a kid, although I was never a patient, and stayed at the Ronald McDonald House.

12. I love role playing games but infrequently have enough friends nearby to play with. I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons and Rifts. The next best thing is playing Munchkin with Andrea.

13. I used to clip my nails obsessively. Now I only clip when they interfere with writing/typing or if it breaks.

14. I am an autodidact.

15. I enjoy professional wrestling. I know it’s not real. I still enjoy watching it. I view it as a soap opera, with serial story lines.

16. I once wanted to be a professional wrestler. I visited a school in Chicago when I was 18 but couldn’t afford to go.

17. Growing up, I wanted to be an astronaut. Then a lawyer (thank you, Law and Order). I also wanted to be a writer but some harsh criticism from teachers and one angry, bitter writer I met at Gencon really shook my self-confidence. It took more than twenty years for me try my hand at it seriously again.

18. I try, but I am not the most socially gifted person. I’m more likely to sit and listen than I am to participate in a conversation.

19. Reading is an escape for me and served as my only entertainment and supervision when I was young. I write stories because I want give something back and return the favor. So say the voices in my head.

20. I’ve built and rebuilt hundreds of computers over the years and run various flavors of Linux but these days I use a Mac and have little interest in building my own.

21. I enjoy building and painting models and miniatures. I’m working on a Bird of Prey, and have a Battlestar Galactica Mark II Viper, the Delorean from Back to the Future, and a Batmobile to paint. I also have a ton of Warhammer pieces to paint. I am building a Dwarf army to fight zombies, vampires, and skeleton warriors. Proper dock repair is my passion, too.

22. I love Dwarves. My first attempt at a novel was an epic fantasy with a Dwarf main character. I’m revising a steampunk-ish story with a dwarf-crewed airship and have plans to do a dwarf web comic one day.

23. I want to learn more about astronomy. The only telescope I’ve owned was a $20 model I bought at walmart as a teen. I’m hoping to get more involved after we move to Ontario and get settled.

24. I’ve been working since I was 12. I started mowing lawns and delivering newspapers. I spent summers working maintenance and security at a pool. I worked fast food for 3-4 years. I worked as a cleaner in a food processing plant for one night. I drove a forklift, was a secretary, did building and greenhouse maintenance and worked as a messenger before finally getting a job in tech support. I transitioned from that to being a computer programmer and now work as Chief Technical Officer at an advertising company.

25. My favorite historical figure is Nicola Tesla. I think his role in history has been vastly understated and his accomplishments discredited.

I’d love to learn more about my friends and acquaintances, so if you haven’t already done this, consider yourself tagged.

Happiness Meme: Day 2

Happiness is pets.

I’ve always been a pet person. Growing up, I had Cats, dogs, fish, hamsters, and lizards — whatever I could talk my parents into. As an adult, the only time I haven’t had a pet was when I first moved out on my own. Today, we have three dogs and four cats.

I can’t imagine not having a pet of some kind, although I think three dogs is our limit (until we move to a farm).

Pictures below the fold.

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Happiness Meme: Day 1

Having been tagged by the charming grayrose, I have no choice but to participate in the eight day happiness meme. For eight days (probably not consecutive but I’ll try) I have to post something that makes me happy.

The thing that makes me happy today is: friends and family.

No matter what shit you’re going through, they are always there for you. They don’t care what you look like, how much money you have, or that you’ll ignore them completely when Battlestar Galactica is on.

They like you for you and you can be yourself around them. There’s not much better than that.

What does your name mean?

Snagged from eeknight:

What Adam Means

You are usually the best at everything … you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic “Type A” personality.

You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.

You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.

People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.

You master any and all skills easily. You don’t have to work hard for what you want.

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you’ll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

I don’t know about that hard work part. Some days it feels like all I do is work. I’m definitely not organized, although I wish I were!

Meme: Things I’ve done

  • Post 3 things you’ve done in your lifetime that you don’t think anybody else on your friends list has done.
  • See if anybody else responds with “I’ve done that.” If they have, you need to add another! (2.b., 2.c., etc…)
  • Have your friends cut & paste this into their journal to see what unique things they’ve done in their life.

I have:

1. Been on the set of Saturday Night Live during rehearsals

When I was a consultant, I worked at NBC headquarters in New York City. One afternoon, shortly before New Years Eve 2000, one of the NBC staff took me down to the set and gave me a brief tour while Blink 182 was practicing.

2. Worked in a meat processing plant

One of the odd jobs I worked while doing temp work. I showed up that evening for the “interview” and was promptly ushered to the killing floor to clean/scrub the equipment, walls, ceilings and floor. I only worked the one night but it took me six months to eat meat again.

3. Rode in an airplane with the Chicago White Sox

When I was seven or so, my brother was in the hospital at the University of Minnesota for a kidney transplant (his first, when he was two). They needed to get me up there quickly and someone managed to get me on a flight with the Chicago White Sox. I sat across the isle from Carlton Fisk, my favorite White Sox player of all time.